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What is a crew neck T-shirt?

Possessing a timeless design and universal appeal, the crew neck T-shirt has emerged as a must-have staple in the wardrobe. Featuring a simple, round neckline, the same length all the way round, and with no collar, the crew neck creates an unbroken line around the neck and shoulders, providing a neat, natural look. The T's neckline adopts a distinct "O" shape, as opposed to the "V" shape on a V-neck t-shirt (yes, that one is a bit easier to describe).


The crew-neck tee is really the default shape these days. If a T-shirt is sold with no other description, such as V-neck, polo or Henley collar, in all likelihood, it's going to be a crew neck. As such, it's really designed for anyone. It's perfect for layering, as the neck is unobtrusive - there are no flaps or other details to show around the collar of a sweatshirt, jumper, jacket, hoodie, or even a button-up shirt. So you can wear it with anything. 

It's also just right for wearing as a casual single layer. As you can get them in every colour imaginable, you can have a whole drawer full of them to match with whatever trousers or jeans you're wearing. They're usually pretty cheap, too, although, as with anything, designer crew-necks come at a premium price. Finally, they're ideal for printing on.  That makes them great for clubs and groups, or they can be given a corporate makeover with printing and embroidery. Most band t-shirts you get from gigs or music shops are crew neck, as it's a casual classic that never ages.

The history and name origin of the crew neck T-shirt

The origin of the term "crew neck" can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. This style of T-shirt got its name because they were initially designed as an undergarment for sailors and soldiers. Meant to absorb sweat and keep the outer garments clean, the T-shirts were called crew neck because of their round, collar-free neckline that essentially could be easily stretched and removed and put on by the sailor. As time passed, these garments transitioned from just workwear or undergarments to an acceptable form of casual time, largely owed to icons like Marlon Brando and James Dean flaunting them in the 1950s. Brando wore one in "A Streetcar Named Desire" in 1951, and Dean made it essential when he wore it in "Rebel Without A Cause" in 1955. Both pushed the garment away from any military connotations and actually made it glamorous. 

The crew neck t-shirt symbolises much more than just simplicity and comfort. It represents a piece of fashion history that continues to endure and adapt over time, cementing its place in wardrobes as a go-to item, universally appealing and loved by many. Whatever brand or colour of crew neck tee shirt you're looking for, you'll find yours in our extensive collection. We've got all the best brands and some fantastic deals if you want to buy them wholesale.